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Ragamuffin in Leichhardt

There is a fairly new cafe in Leichhardt where you can not only get a damn good coffee from a lever and piston espresso machine but also gluten free muffins, they have a different flavour each week.
Ragamuffin on Norton Street, check it out.
Couldn't help but hear Gentlemen music in my ears...

Jesse knows how to make good coffee.

Danii, owner and chef.

Haylea and Jesse, always a smile for their customers.


May Daring Bakers Challenge

May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.

Oh I love yeast dough and therefore was very happy with this month's challenge. I added poppy seed to the mix and glazed it after baking while still warm with apricot jam - very yummy!

We call the plait or braid - Hefezopf - in Germany and  it's very typical around Easter. It's such a lovely bread spread with lightly salted butter or cream cheese and plum jam or marmalade.
It's beast eaten the day it's made but leftover slices are great for french toast or bread and butter pudding. If you can get fresh yeast try this as the flavour is so much better.  If you can't find fresh yeast in the supermarket try delis or bakeries. It's worth trying.



Easy Challah

(from templedavid.org)
4 cups (960 ml) (360 gm/20 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
1 package (2¼ teaspoons) (11¼ ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) package rapid rise yeast
½ (120 ml) (115 gm/4 oz) cup sugar
2 large eggs
50 g poppy seeds
1 tsp. (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
1. Measure flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer) combine water and yeast, allow to sit 5 minutes until foamy.
3. Add 1 ½ cups of the flour mixture to the water and yeast mixture, beat until well combined. Cover with a dish towel, let stand 30 min.
4. Add two eggs to the dough, beat again.
5. By hand or with your dough hook knead in the remaining flour mixture and the poppy seed. Knead approximately 10 minutes.
6. Transfer to oiled bowl, cover, let rise one hour.
7. Punch down dough, knead approximately 3 minutes.
8. Divide dough in two. Shape each half as desired (3, 4, or 6 strand braid).
9. Place loaves on parchment covered or greased cookie sheets, cover with a towel, allow to rise one hour.
10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
11. Brush loaves with egg wash.
12. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, bake until golden crust forms (about 25-30 minutes).
13. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
Once cooled, challah loaves which will not be eaten right away (or in the next couple of days) should be bagged in heavy duty freezer bags. Remove excess air from the bag before securing it tightly (tying a knot or using tape). Put the bagged loaf/loaves into the freezer as soon as possible to ensure fresh taste; frozen challah will keep approximately three months.


Bar Sport in Leichhardt

Every morning on my way to work I would drive pass Bar Sport and see all the men sitting outside having a catch up over coffee and maybe a piccolo sandwich. Sometimes when the times allows I get a coffee there and feel right in Italy somewhere. Although I am sure you'll still be able to get a latte after eleven o'clock here.

Staying true to its name it all about sport, soccer in particular, in this cosy Italian cafe with the morning sun. Still looking for a spot to watch the World Cup on the big screen? They are open for most of the games not only when Italy plays, even at the wee hours!

Rosie and Joe have run this cafe for 11 years and a lot of regulars. The coffee is fantastic but that goes without saying in Sydney. Need some lunch, grab a panini or if you're just feeling a little peckish there are lots of Italian treats on offer.
The music I had in my ears at the cafe was Paolo Conte, listen to it here on spotify.

Meet the owners: Rosie and Joe.

There is always time for chat.

Have a treat with your drink.

Italian sweets.

Such a nice atmosphere and good coffee.

It's all happening on Norton Street.


Brown's Siding Cafe in the Blue Mountains

The last days of Autumn are coming to an end and I can feel the winter fast approaching. The mornings are way cooler than normal and it gets really cold inside the house. It's time to get the heater out. Mind you the sun is still lovely and temperatures still reach 23 degrees C. The leaves are so beautiful right now and this is the perfect time for the Blue Mountains which despite their name can be quite golden and red in Autumn. We stopped at a cafe, the Brown's Siding, for some delightful lunch and coffee.

Isn't nature just wonderful?!

Bread and butter pudding vs crumble- a tough decision.

Old baking moulds adorn the walls.

Twice baked goats cheese with roasted walnut, celery and balsamic dressing. Delicious!


7x7 blog award

Thanks to my lovely colleague Cassie from Food My Friend I got my first award and I feel very honoured. Thank you Cassie!

To begin this, I need to spell out the rules first:
1: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows.

I love spaghetti! That doesn't seem to be very unusual, in fact I believe it's quite a staple food in most countries but what makes it a little embarrassing is how I love it the most. Call it a childhood memory but every time I was sick my father would make me spaghetti with tomato sauce, melted butter and cut it for me in little pieces so that I could scoop it up with a spoon, as at that time I wasn't able to twist those long strings onto my fork. No fancy cheese or truffle oil. Just the good ol tomato sauce and butter - so good! It has to be Heinz though, everything else doesn't matter, it's a kids meal after all. I have definitely  outgrown such simple pleasures but I do tend to come back to it whenever I feel for comfort food.

 2: Link to a post I think fits the following categories: 

The Most Beautiful Piece:
I think this goes to Miss Barbie Dolly Varden Cake. I made this for the daughter of a friend and it was my first Barbie cake and I must say I am quite pleased with it. My daughter got a Barbie cake as well and now wants an unicorn cake which is very challenging. I am not sure if I can do that....

Most Helpful Piece:
Maybe my Germknoedel post. It's such a typical winter dish from Austria but also not very well known outside of Austria. It's such a typical dish you'll encounter when skiing in Austria and it will warm you and bring back all the energy as it is quite filling. It's not hard to make but thought it would be easier to understand with step photos since it's quite unusual. Would be interesting to know if there are other places (apart from Austria) where it is well known.

Most Popular Piece:

 That has to be the picture I took of my cherry clafoutis. Mind you they were yummy and are so easy to make.

 Most Controversial Piece:
 My Flammkuchen post most definitely as there is such a discussion around it on whether a German Flammkuchen uses yeast or not. Well, there are yummy recipes on both sides and I have yet to try a recipe without but know it will be more like a flatbread rather than "a cake". Whatever you use as a base, it's such a yummy fingerfood and more like a German-style pizza really, most often eaten at festivals all year round. 

I went to a friends place and we made a few Flammkuchen. She used the leftover dough the next morning to make a sweet breakfast Flammkuchen with apples and cinnamon sugar - that sounded very delicious too!

Most Surprisingly Successful Piece:

My Lebkuchenwuerfel post before Christmas 2011. Living in Australia has definitely influenced me in many ways and sometimes I am way less German I used too. On the other hand when it comes to traditions and celebrations I am still very true blue German. That's why I usually bake German Christmas cookies using German spices (if I can get my hands on it, such as Lebkuchengewuerz from Schwartau).

One of those beautiful cookies, well slices in this case, are Lebkuchenwuerfel. It has cloves, aniseed, cinnamon and cardamom in it and it fills the house with a beautiful smell. Hard to resist really even in summer ;-)

Most Underrated Piece:

My Halloween post last year. I think the bats made out of toilet paper rolls look so scary cute ;-)
plus the ghost cupcakes with fluffy marshmallow frosting.

Most Pride-worthy Piece:
That has to be the Easter production I did with Corina for s'more. Our first self-produced 
Easter e-mag

3: Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers:

I'd like to pass this on to Meeta K.Wolf from What's for Lunch Honey?, Spiral Style
Peter from Souvlaki for the Soul, Jason at Daily Condor, Deeba Rajpal from Passionate About Baking both are fellow daring bakers, Brian Samuels from A thought for Food and Beatrice Peltre from La Tartine Gourmande, 


Talk with fashion blogger Susie Bubble

What does a food blogger do at a talk from a fashion blogger? I wasn't sure either at first if that is the right event for me but my curiosity had more power over me than my prejudice. In the end we are all bloggers and I am so glad I went. I must admit though that I was a tad intimidated by all those fashion people who showed up as well. Everyone, except me, looked, well, so fashionable.

Susie bubble from Style Bubble is blogging since 2006 and already after a year of blogging got invited by major fashion brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton to have an insight in how they manufacture their collection. At this point, and that was only a few minutes into her presentation, I got quite jealous. Isn't that a dream to get invited to see how much thought and work goes into their items and brand.

She also worked at dazed digital the online site of dazed and confused which is pretty cool. That led to more projects with Prada, Gap and other renowned brands just to make make your eyes water. It's needless to say that she gets invited to all those fashion weeks out there, and I believe there are many (sorry for being a bit ignorant here, but same with the soccer world cap, I couldn't care less about those things).

After her presentation there was time for Q&A and the moderation was done by Harper's Bazaar editor Edwina McCann. They talked about blog networks enabling advertisement placements on blogs. Susie warned though to keep an eye on your identity and the look of your blog. Not every brand will suit your style/need/message so be careful with whom and what you engage with. The most important thing she said is to develop content first and find your own voice, get an audience because that's what the blog gets measured by. Stay true to yourself and don't feel obliged to post something nice or at all only because you got invited to something.